Health Subcommittee will host hearing on health-policy options for local communities
The Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee will convene a legislative hearing Wednesday on legislation co-sponsored by Rep. Gene Green to break down the barriers to doctor volunteerism at community health centers (CHCs). Testifying before the Committee in support of Green’s bipartisan Family Health Care Accessibility Act of 2013 (H.R. 2703) will be Robert MtJoy, CEO of Cornerstone Care, a CHC serving Southwestern Pennsylvania residents in Greene, Washington, and Fayette counties.
In July, Congressman Green re-introduced the Family Health Care Accessibility Act in partnership with Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) in order to extend to volunteer healthcare professionals at CHCs the same protections given to free clinic volunteers, who have been covered by the Federal Tort Claims Act’s liability protections since passage of HIPAA in 1996.
“Unfortunately, current federal law prevents doctors and other healthcare workers who want to help from volunteering their services at CHCs,” said Rep. Murphy. “The Family Health Care Accessibility Act is exactly the kind of bipartisan reform that Congress should pass so low-incomes families and children have access to quality affordable coverage.”
Without these protections, medical malpractice insurance for physician-volunteers at CHCs could cost as much as $100,000, reducing the number of professional healthcare volunteers. The Family Health Care Accessibility Act has received the endorsement of the National Association of Community Health Centers. In the 111th Congress, this legislation passed the House of Representatives 417-1.
“I appreciate Rep. Murphy’s leadership on this issue and I’m proud to join him in introducing this important legislation,” Rep. Green said. “Providing liability protections to volunteer healthcare professionals serving at Community Health Centers will strengthen the workforce and improve access to care to those served by CHCs.”
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